Kenya Leaders Begin Tour of Areas Scarred by Postelection Violence

Kenya's president and prime minister began a tour Thursday of the areas hardest-hit by the country's deadly postelection violence, telling thousands of displaced that they will be able to go home soon.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited a vast displacement camp in this western Kenya town where some 16,000 people remain since the Dec. 27 presidential election unleashed weeks of violence.

"We do not want you people to continue living here and suffering," Kibaki told the cheering crowd. "We will solve this problem very soon."

Odinga added: "We are here as leaders. ... We can solve all the problems in order for peace to exist."

More than 1,000 people were killed and 300,000 displaced following the December elections that both Odinga and Kibaki claimed to have won.

With the violence escalating, the rivals agreed in February to share power — but then wrangled for weeks over how to divide up their coalition Cabinet.

Kenya is a key U.S. ally and regional economic and military powerhouse that for years was one of the most stable nations in East Africa.

But the disputed December elections laid bare frustrations over poverty and corruption — and ethnic rivalries in a country where Kikuyus, the tribe Kibaki belongs to, are perceived to dominate others, including the Luo, Odinga's ethnic group.